Virginia Candidate on How Guns Could Have Prevented the Virginia Tech Shooting

Virginia House candidate Keith Fimian, who is challenging Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly in Northern Virginia, said recently that looser gun laws could have prevented the Virginia Tech shooting, and his campaign is now walking back the comment.

Fimian told a local news anchor during a televised interview that the April 2007 shooting, which claimed the lives of 33 when a gunman opened fire in a classroom building, wouldn't have happened if students were allowed to carry guns into classrooms.

"I think that at Virginia Tech, if one of those kids in one of those classrooms was packing heat, I think that would not have happened," Fimian said when asked about gun control laws, apparently unprompted with any mention of Virginia Tech.

"The perpetrator of that crime would have thought twice before walking into a classroom if he thought there was any chance of someone being armed and preventing him from doing that," Fimian said.

See the video below:


Fimian's campaign is now walking back the comment. A campaign spokesman told Derek McGinty of Washington, DC's TV station WUSA-9 that the statement about Virginia Tech was an "offhand comment" that "did not...take into account the gravity of the situation," McGinty reported.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In